The press will be called Uflexo and it will be available in two models, Elisa and Valle.
On 8 March, the company showcased Elisa, an 8-colour press which can print upto 400m/ min.Valle’s running speed is 300m/min. Both the models are available with six to ten printing stations and printing width of 800/1600mm.
“We believe that the time for flexo printing is yet to come,” said Ajay Tandon, president and CEO, engineering and new product development, Uflex. “We did not have any CI flexo printing press around six years ago, but now we have around six presses in our converting facility.”
Tandon argues that Uflex is better equipped to develop such a machine because it’s the only machine manufacturer in India which has its own converting facility. “It makes our understanding about the processes much better and strengthens our services because at times if we cannot solve a problem, we can always take help from our converting unit for a better understanding,” he added.
Sanjay Malik Sabharwal, executive vice-president, engineering business, Uflex, said that the technology transfer from Comiflex was really helpful in developing the machine. “It has directly mounted servo motors for various applications without any gear / gearbox. We developed a system for easy load and unload even for heavy substrates like the film for oil packaging, which is around 100 micron. We have used 120 mm steel section to avoid vibrations,” Sabharwal said.
The company has also used a patented technology to reduce the consumption of solvent in cleaning the press, bringing it down from 100% upto 10%. This not only saves on solvent but also on time and energy. “Uflexo has auto colour registration and correction. We ensure to maintain the equal temperature around the CI drum for better printing,” he added.
As a practice, Uflex always uses the first batch of its newly developed machines in-house. Even the CI flexo machine showcased during the launch will go to its converting business. In Uflexo there is no bouncing of plates and it’s easy to use the printing press.
Tandon said the reduction in the bounce has been made possible because of the way the machine has been built.
“Now, we are in a position to increase the production. We have the technology to develop the press which can print up to three metres of width, said Gianfranco Nespoli Comiflex. “Our offering speed (300/400m/min) covers most of the jobs. We use water and air, but no oil. Since direct motors are mounted and no gearbox is involved, production is neat and clean.”
Ulfexo can be operated from remote desks as well. “It’s a kind of preventive maintenance where you will be informed if a breakdown occurs for any reason. This will alert the printer and operators automatically. Moving to the next level, we have already started working on IOT (Internet of Things). The system can also do effective failure mode analysis,” Tandon said.
So far the company has received three orders — one for export and two for the domestic market.
Tandon said the cost of the machine will definitely be less compared to European and overseas machines since it has been manufactured in India, but the difference will not be much. “This is because the electronic and mechanical cost of the machine is the same as the majority of critical components are imported,” he said.
Specs for Uflexo Elisa flexographic printing press
Number of colours: 8
Printing possibilities: 8 + 0
Printing width: 1300mm
Web width: 1350mm
Printing repeat: 340-800
Printing speed: Up to 400m/min depending on type and quality of materials to be printed, inks, cylinder repeat, plates, ink coverage with colour overlay
Plate thickness: 1.14mm (0.0045-inches) plus adhesive 0,5mm (0,0020-inches) (any plate thickness depending to sleeve/repeat)
Anilox sleeves: Diameter 172mm ceramic coated sleeves
Ink: Solvent and water-based
Material: HD-LDPE / 14-100um / PP 10-50um / PET 10-50um / Paper 40-80gsm